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Department of

Architecture

Research

Kevin Lair

My work within Material/Immaterial themes focuses on the ephemeral shadows cast from human habitation. It makes visible 1) the larger processes of architecture including the land, natural resources and industry required to build, 2) abandoned architecture and remnants, 3) trace habitation in artifacts and archeological knowledge and 4) virtual architecture when technology has reorganized and displaced architecture.  My particular interest is agricultural communities. In agricultural areas buildings and the land itself are typically designed for crops, machinery, and animals based on maximum production and efficiency. The absence of architectural intent or expression invokes a sense of clarity, precision and restraint. When these structures are left to decay on the land, a robust and persistent non-native flora overgrow it in erratic and unpredictable ways. The combination of standard, repetitive inert forms with the plants is a compelling metaphor for the systems at odds with each other. I hope to use this creative inquiry as a means to develop authentic and sustainable rural design projects. A sustainable rural design uses unconventional architectural “expressions” to undo the past model of industrial efficiency in favor of an ethical, sustainable return to the land.

 

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